View Full Version : Peruvian fighter downs missionaries

21st Apr 2001, 07:07
Heard on the news 04:00 UK time, A peruvian fighter has shot down an aircraft ferrying missionaries, as they were mistaken for drug smugglers.

21st Apr 2001, 07:12
For details try:-


Old King Coal
21st Apr 2001, 08:49
Yeah, this 'top gun' sure was is a real ace of the base - he shot-up the light aircraft, forcing it to ditch, during which process he killed a mother and her baby (i.e. not sure if it was the bullets, or the ditching, that killed them - not that it matters, the end result was the same). But not satisfied with downing their aircraft, he then straffed them in the sea.

Yep a real hero, NOT !

21st Apr 2001, 09:09
Jepp, if you do the same thing that the drug smugglers do, in the same area known for them to do it, then the risks is all yours.By the way, no one is so sure that they are not carrying anything illegal under the disguise of flying an innocent light plane in someone else territory. Try flying your seneca 111 towards Florida at low level at night and see what happens ! Condolence to the families of those who lost their lives.

Raw Data
21st Apr 2001, 16:03
Whatever happens if you do that, it won't include being shot down and strafed!!!

22nd Apr 2001, 01:42
I can't remember the last time I saw a report of a drug smugglers aircraft shot down by a military aircraft. I smell a pile of old fish.

dallas dude
22nd Apr 2001, 20:13
Rolling Thunder,

I've operated in the Iquitos area and I can tell you there are very real problems with drug smuggling airplanes. All smuggling pilots understand they will be shot at if they attempt to evade capture/seizure. So far this year, 20 or so light airplanes have been "tagged".

The DEA (flying out of Iquitos) has some fairly sophisticated equipment flying around the area. They provide surveillance support to the Peruvian AF.

Sadly, I think this was a friendly fire type misidentification.


22nd Apr 2001, 21:09
According to my newspaper the unfortunate Cessna was fingered by a US AWACS/Orion/whatever type.

The sad irony of the South American drug wars is that both sides are funded by the USA. The US Government funds the enforcement agencies, and the US populace funds the drug industry. The poor sods who live in the wrong place are caught in the crossfire.

Sheep Guts
22nd Apr 2001, 22:01
This is a stupid policy shooting, at an unarmed Cessna 185 or 206 that was full of people with a Missionary Insignia on the side isnt it?
It is true that the tracking Aircraft had sofisticated equipment etc. But all you needed to do was look up the A/C rego on the net and ring the owner, or havent they got internet access yet? :) And I have a sneeking suspicion that a flight plan was filed, but was mysteriously or conveniently lost.I bet this comes out after further investigation.

Kurmy I supose you are a PILOT , but have you flown a light aircraft to COSTA RICA from the U.S for vacation? If you havent, well alot of U.S. CITIZENS do, and some times they fly further a field. I think this shoot before asking later policy must stop NOW!!!!

And what about following the A/C to its destination( not far, considering it was a float plane) and using helicopters to land and investigate. This is how its done in the
U.S. Thank God AOPA sang out, when the US Government were going for this policy a while back.

Last point, rules of engagement, and rules for interception shouldnt be tucked away in some corner of the FARs should they!

Many people in the U.S believe this is a physical war over drugs. Well its not,its a mess of corruption thats starts a Capital Hill and ends in South America. You cant tell me the most Powerfull Nation in the Earth cant stop this.
My condolences to the Family. This is a sad day. http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/frown.gif

[This message has been edited by Sheep Guts (edited 22 April 2001).]

before landing check list
22nd Apr 2001, 23:37
Dallas Dude,
It is not DEA.

Here's to cheating, stealing, fighting, and drinking.
If you cheat, may you cheat death.
If you steal, may you steal a woman's heart.
If you fight, may you fight for a brother.
And if you drink, may you drink with me.

22nd Apr 2001, 23:49
Well ,as sad as it is , that's the way things work down there. If you're flying with your Cessna/Piper or whatever fits into the "drug smuggler" category and do not respond to radio contact and signals ,you're as good as dead. They will shot you out of the skies without much of a trouble. Not only in Peru that sort of things happens. All the region that includes the borders of Brazil/Colombia/Peru/Venezuela is an extreme hot place. It happens more often than most people up here think. A lot more... but somehow this made it through the world news.
I once was at an airfield were they ferried in an AeroComander that was apreheended two days before in a farm doing drug runs. The plane was fitted with an extra tank (really a big rubber- or something alike - bag )that gave the plane more than 12 Hrs of flight time!! And they flow it all the way down from Colombia. They were caught only because one engine refused to start during the invasion (of the farm by the police). Now ,do you think if this plane was spotted one day over some distant place and refused to respond to the interceptors, that he would stay airborne for long? Think and get your own conclusion.
There is war in those places ,against the drugs ,and like in any war...sometimes innocent people pay the price too (unfortunatelly).

[This message has been edited by AeroBoero (edited 22 April 2001).]

23rd Apr 2001, 01:44

If the U.S. has a problem with drugs, it's high time to take care of the dealers and users - at home.

A very common story in the U.S. is the local drug house operating for more than a year - always 'under surveilance.' Reporting the same house to 'higher authority' is begging to have your own housed torched.

If the C-185 isn't making moves to get away, it's simple enough to nail them when they land. I find no excuse for the U.S. to be playing the role of the local cop in a foreign country. Kill the trade with the country & let them clean up their own mess.

As usual, the U.S. is protecting their sacred cash flows.

Anybody with any experience in the area knows that's the turf of the Christians In Action (not the church kind). It's rarely about stopping drugs, as opposed to stopping competition. No rocket science involved.

Check out www.unfriendlyskies.com (http://www.unfriendlyskies.com)

The DEA cowboys owe God a woman and a kid.

23rd Apr 2001, 02:02
My thoughts are with those people. Believe Unwell Raptor and Dallas Dude have it right, friendly fire supported by US awacs type aircraft. Peru's main newspaper, El Comercio, say Iquitos tower confirmed that the float Cessna had filed a flight plan via radio on departing Islandia (which if I recall correctly is a lumber mill downstream from Iquitos). The woman and infant apparently died from rounds fired by the FAP aircraft and the pilot, Kevin Donaldson, was wounded badly in the right leg - exposed fracture.
Although the area is now rife with drug smuggling aircraft, Dallas Dude will remember there are dozens of missionary aircraft on floats operating there as well. I would imagine missionary pilots would be exceptionally alert to military aircraft and totally up to date regarding signalling, manoeuvering, radio procedures for identifying themselves correctly. The other woman on the aircraft said the attack came without any warning. Donaldson has to date given no statement.
None of the reports I've read say what time the attack occurred, but you don't fly around there on floats at night, full stop.

dallas dude
23rd Apr 2001, 03:25

The aircraft I was referring to were Cessna Citations fitted with "bits and pieces".

I know where they're from. Even visited with some of the Florida based pilots.

Maybe they were at "church" on that day.


23rd Apr 2001, 08:50
This is the Professional Pilots Rumour Network. Are we really sitting around here listening to a throw-away comment that there is a place on this planet where it is ROUTINE for light aircraft to be tagged as a target by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency and shot down without warning? Really?

This is monstrous! I'm not exactly in favour of drug smuggling but nevertheless I'm dead against any aircraft EVER being shot down unless war has been declared and the aircraft involved are combatant.

Through difficulties to the cinema

23rd Apr 2001, 14:13
Gotta say that if I was sitting in a light a/c and some hero in a fighter let lose with cannon and gun, which then resulted in the death (murder) of my wife and child - he'd better be looking over his shoulder for the rest of his life.....

Ok, it's not very christian, but in that instance I'd convert to being a Muslim in order to take advantage of their 'eye for an eye' style of forgiveness !

before landing check list
23rd Apr 2001, 17:17
Dallas Dude,
The aircraft are not just thrown together with "parts" a you so eloquently put it. But that is beside the point. I wasnot in Peru when that incident occured. The way the system works is either with or without supporting intel the C550 is launched to find the target.(eithr day or night) the I.D. is made (tail #) without the occupants being aware of the existance of the citation. Not a small feat when the C550 is heavy and the target slow or at night. Then the C550 will back off keeping he target on radar.(F16 intercapt radar peice of crap)The ID is ran through the system for flight plans,prior entries and wants/warrants. I the a/c is suspect due to the above criteria the FAP a/c is launched and vectored to the cite by the C550.(harder then it sounds)When the FAP a/c has both the C550 and the suspect in sight the C550 will move about a 1/4 mile back and slightly above to record the actions of the suspect and FAP a/c. What is suposed to happen is the FAP a/c will fly along side the suspect with a hand written sign to change radio freqs. If no response from the suspect the FAP a/c will accomplish the ICAO intercept procedures to include flap/gear lowering to attempt to convey the idea to the suspect toland. If that fails or is ignored shots are fired across the fr'ont of the aircraft. That failing the aircraft is shot down. I am not saying that it is the correct thing to do, but that is the way it was. I say was because those C550's are no longer down there as of 2 years ago. Any others till there do not belong to "those" guys. Since I was not there then and I very seriously doubt anyone here was EVER down there and don't know the "rest of the story" quit being the frigging Monday morning quarterback which seems so prevelant here(human nature I suppose)and stop casting blame without any idea of the situation realy is. I don't know and was not there. So Dallas Dude, I have no idea where you get your info but you need to do more research before you say things you know nothing about. The shooting down of the missionary plane as very unfortunate. I am positive if all the pilots envolved knew then what they know now things would have turned out differently. And I do think the best way to turn this drug thing around we should start in the home, schools and communities here first.

Here's to cheating, stealing, fighting, and drinking.
If you cheat, may you cheat death.
If you steal, may you steal a woman's heart.
If you fight, may you fight for a brother.
And if you drink, may you drink with me.

23rd Apr 2001, 18:39

My heart aches for the families involved and those affected by the end result of this tragedy.

It makes me sick to watch the media throw out the denials of the support aircraft being military. It's not important WHAT the aircraft was, other than it being a U.S. law enforcement aircraft (allegedly) in a foreign land doing far more to kill competition in the drug trade, as opposed to stopping drug traffic into the U.S..

With a moments thought, it is obvious that the U.S. aircraft would do far more good stopping drug flights across the U.S. borders. But, actually stopping the traffic is not the point, so the assets are alternately deployed.

The journalists know the inside scoop, so they asked the CIA for comment - there was none. Reading between those lines, the Agency would be otherwise expected to assert that they are not involved, therefore, unable to provide any information. Well, guess what the truth is???

24th Apr 2001, 08:44
before landing check list,

"The shooting down of the missionary plane was very unfortunate." Now read that back. Roll it around the tongue a bit. Reflect on it.

Yes it was very unfortunate wasn't it. Very unfortunate.

There are those who are determined to protect us against drug dealers if they have to kill every last one of us in the attempt. Its not as if drug dealers are REAL people after all. They are sub-human, right? And those damned missionaries just have to learn to keep out of the way. Well, every journey starts with one small step, and look where Adolf Hitler led us.

Through difficulties to the cinema

24th Apr 2001, 09:47

Despite denials, the Citation was owned by the U.S. Department of Defense. It was a U.S. military plane, regardless of markings and crew. Despite U.S. Air Force ownership, look to who was at the controls and who was on board.

Despite the finger pointing, the CIA fingered the C-185.

Despite all that was known, the C-185 pilot was not warned, nor given a chance to authenticate his identity by the U.S. crew. Such a warning is not a breach of the infamous chain-of-command.

Despite procedures and known facts in the immediate time frame, a known innocent plane was shot down in a blatant act of murder. There are no denials available. Realizing their mistake, the CIA begged the Peruvian Air Force to stop - they didn't.

Despite the nobility of the intentions, the involvement of the CIA is to be questioned - in bloody close detail.

Despite the idealism, Christian hope will be denied to the villagers as a consequence. Greed demands submission, not hope and morality.

Despite the U.S. Freedom of Information act, the videotapes and transcripts will not be released. This is about money - a lot of it.

Despite the anticipated “plausible denial,” the effective U.S efforts to intervene will be stopped; the drug trade from Peru, via Colombia, to the U.S. will increase.

Despite the power of the illusions, drug trade is the first benefactor of the Free Trade Agreements of the Quebec City conference.

Americans need to get used to it, their kids are destined to pay the price. The results of history will testify that Washington doesn’t really care. As with aviation safety, it’s all about money.

Deal with it!

before landing check list
24th Apr 2001, 10:53
Black Sheep,
Yes it was very unfortunate. WE don't know the whole story and if we did know the whole story it would still not justify those people dying. I know and believe that. But since I was prior military AND a cop once I happen to have a different mind set from you in some cases. It seems like according to you, we (the law abiding human race) should just role over and expose our bellies to the various crimminal elements( drug smugglars, rapists, killers etc.) because we cannot be certain 100% of the time only the "bad" guy(quotes because bad is relative I believe)gets hurt. I repeat that WE(as in you, I and the rest of us) were not there and knowing how screwed up the media is all over, we may never know what really happened. All I am saying is nothing will totaly justify those inocents dying but that is the way it is. It is a fact of life and we cannot and will not be able to change that.
This thread reminds me of the Chinese/American situation. We are so quick to point the finger. Well suprise, life is not the cut and dried. Black or white. Maybe you should go back to your cinema where we are all perfect. Go back to your bar where you can bitch like the rest of them. You disgust me.

[This message has been edited by before landing check list (edited 24 April 2001).]

[This message has been edited by before landing check list (edited 24 April 2001).]

24th Apr 2001, 11:48
Whatever happened to Barry Seal, the former TWA 747 captain who after being caught, admitted to smuggling gear from Colombia to Louisiana over a number of years? Or the other American, Jack Devoe, owner of Devoe Airlines, whose pilots completed over a 100 trafficking flights between South America and the US? Anyone know?

24th Apr 2001, 14:00
The Barry Seal story was made into a movie called "Double-crossed" with Dennis Hopper playing the lead role. Quite a good movie (some interesting flying scenes) and pretty amazing if only half true!
In the movie Barry Seal became an FBI agent and assisted in the exposure of drug smuggling at high levels of the government in Columbia. In the end a judge in the US welched on a deal the FBI had promised Seal, and he was sent to a 'half-way house' type detention center where the smugglers got to him and shot him dead.

Don't know anything about the other man you mentioned.

24th Apr 2001, 15:14
CaptSensible - Thanks for that update. The other guy was a Miami based pilot who formed his airline, essentially a front for a Colombian cartel. Over a five year period or so, he and his pilots smuggled just over 3 tons of coke into the US, utilising the Bahamian island Little Derby Island.

24th Apr 2001, 16:11
Firstly, I was sorry to hear of the downing of a missionary flight with the loss of a mother and child. I would like to think that those who are ultimately responsible for the death of these innocents would be held accountable. Unfortunately I very much doubt that we will ever see true justice done.

Secondly. I agree hole heartidly with BLCL that we have to start in the homes and schools with EDUCATION about the drugs issue. That should include alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine. Treat a drug as a drug, legal or otherwise. Take the mystique away from these substances; remove some of the reason for doing them. Most Kids know the basic difference between good and bad, for example: I knew not to drink bleach as a child because it would kill me. Educate your children. At least then an informed decision can be made by whomever is being offered substances. I would hope my child would say No at that point, but if my kid wanted to take drugs then there is sod all I could do to stop it happening. It’s not hard to find drugs and I would rather know that my children have all the information available to them and they know that they can always run home when it all goes wrong rather than sweating it out in an alley on their own.

We have been fighting a so-called “War on Drugs” for as long as I can remember. I don’t know about the States but it would seem to me that drug use is going up in the UK. Coke, ecstasy and ganja all being used by a significant percentage of people from my generation and from those below on a regular basis. Our “War on Drugs” would therefore seem not to be working as the percentage I talk of is increasing. Our policies do not work at home and they are not working abroad. Use the money we pour into this war for other things, like health and education.

There was no reason for the Mother and her baby to die. Let's hope that something good might arise from thier death. RIP


[This message has been edited by Rastaman (edited 24 April 2001).]

24th Apr 2001, 16:32
Has anyone else noticed that all the aircraft involved in the recent tragic incident in Peru were built by Cessna? The unfortunate victim was a float-equipped Cessna 185. It was detected by a Cessna Citation V owned by the US Department of Defense, who then alerted the Peruvian Air Force who sent a Cessna A-37B to intercept it.

I can see the Cessna ads from here....

24th Apr 2001, 16:43
Report from MSNBC:


24th Apr 2001, 17:35

Assuming the segment from the media (below) is accurate, one has to ponder the horror represented by the CIA operating U.S. Air Force Aircraft, particularly in a foreign country.

Drug interdiction is not a function of national security; it is crime prevention and law enforcement. For the CIA to be getting into that extreme of privilege is astounding. If the CIA can't get involved with the Chinese nuclear espionage, nor the terrorist matters directly affecting the U.S., what are they doing playing 'sky cop.'

In a similar fashion the U.S. Secret Service (note the title) did a study on U.S. teenagers, relative to the school shootings. While the study was appropriate for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, it is equally astounding that the Secret Service did it. What else are they into?

Think of what the CIA might do to an airliner? Does PA-103 come to mind? KAL-007?

In the interim, the FAA 'says no' to airline safety.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

After almost two days of conflicting information, the United States sought Sunday to portray its drug surveillance role as advisory in nature.
The U.S. aircraft is owned by the Defense Department but was operated by the Central Intelligence Agency, a U.S. official said.
President Bush has pledged to find out what went wrong, but said the role of the U.S. surveillance plane was “simply to pass on information” about aircraft suspected of carrying drugs.
The surveillance flights, he added Sunday, have been suspended “until we get to the bottom of the situation, to fully understand all the facts, to understand what went wrong in this terrible tragedy.”

The surveillance plane recorded the entire event on audio and video, and U.S. officials in Washington were studying the tapes to determine what went wrong, Miklaszewski reported.
The CIA has been involved in such surveillance flights over Peru since 1995 under authority provided in a law passed in 1994. The law permits U.S. government employees to assist foreign nations in interdicting aircraft when there is reasonable suspicion of illicit drug trade.

24th Apr 2001, 18:47
I'd suggest the CIA and US Secret Service ( who for some strange reason are tasked with investigating certain frauds and counterfeit currency matters - never really understood that), are doing exactly what MI5 are doing over here in the UK, trying to justify their existance.

25th Apr 2001, 00:10
What worries me most is the "official" stance that everything worked as it should. I certainly hope not. I'm left wondering what steps were taken to warn or ID the cessna besides a few radio calls on a "common" freq. Buzzing, or a few tracers across the bow? Were they afraid these smugglers might take steps to evade the A-37 with their 120 kt. cessna dragging floats.

25th Apr 2001, 04:24
DuncanMac -

Essentially, I agree with you. In the U.S. government system a lot of the justification is max budget expansion. This is partly due to basic need and partly due to a slush fund to 'borrow' from when the budget is exceeded.

However, these agencies have been over the line for a long time. For example, the ATF showed up with an Army in Waco to deliver a search warrant to protect kids in the Davidian compound. The child abuse question had been previously cleared.

(That was in Texas, wasn't it?)


25th Apr 2001, 04:57
Dallas Dude.

Agree, a total balls-up, cock-up, foul-up, SNAFU.

Let's consider, (he filed a flight plan, apparently.), but in contravention of several constitutional issues, there was a shoot them down without conviction, just a hunch, mentality in action.

Hey, it'll work, outside the country, let's use the Peruvians (subliminal insert...hot shot (thinks he is) cowboy sort of fighter jock).

Let's execute without trial.

You really want to pursue this kind of stuff? This happen much within the contiguous 49?

Yes drugs are a problem but this is seriously bizarre,warped or sub-human behaviour on a national policy level.

Or was it just an idiot's(or several idiot's) mistake (s)?

(edited for words)

[This message has been edited by Rollingthunder (edited 25 April 2001).]

pax domina
25th Apr 2001, 05:46
Rastaman, putting aside the eloquent arguments both for and against the legalisation of soft drugs for a moment, you are leaving one very important item out of the education you advocate. That is the fact that when you choose to support an illegal trade, you also have made the choice to support the violence that goes along with that trade. Some of the blood spilled is innocent, some far from it . . . but in my opinion all of it is soiling the hands of every one of the millions of consumers of illegal substances worldwide. They are the ones who ultimately "owe God a woman and a kid".

Just look at the Countess of Wessex's business partner who supposedly quite likes the "odd line of coke", many of the entertainers, all peace and love and care and concern, and who so eagerly and self-rightously spout off about various issues and causes, and certainly a healthy percentage of doctors and lawyers (and they are far from the only professions, all with their share of illegal substance using/abusing so-called professionals, I could name), certainly not forgetting many of those in the media and related industries - everyone, everywhere who is f***ing b!tch or b@stard enough to sit there and lie to themselves, to think that his or her use of illicit substances is a "victimless" crime . . .

THINK AGAIN!!! :mad: :mad: :mad:

(And I should think it would be obvious where those I described above can go, and what they can do, to themselves, when they get there.)

[This message has been edited by pax domina (edited 25 April 2001).]

25th Apr 2001, 09:03
BLCL, while saying he is an ex-cop, suggests that we should not all lie down, belly up and submit to the bad guys. He hints that a bit a collateral damage is inevitable.

Our systems of justice, whether 'English Law' (as in the U.S. as well as England/Wales and much of the Commonwealth) or the 'Civil Law' that prevails in most of the rest of the free world, assumes that a person is innocent until proven guilty. The standard of proof for guilt is "Beyond all reasonable doubt" The reason being that it is considered preferable that a guilty person should go free rather than an innocent person should be punished.

There are those who believe that the opposite is true - It is better that we get the b*st*rds by whatever means possible. If anyone gets in the way, that's just the way it is. Life sucks. Well maybe I'm not alone in believing that it is better not to have such people employed in law enforcement. Thank goodness BLCL is an ex-cop.

BLCL tells me to go back to the cinema and watch movies. I suggest that there are people out here in the real world who imagine that life IS like a movie. Hot-shot heros fly around, cigar clenched between their teeth, machine gunning the bad guys outta the sky. Cops race around the streets blasting M16 wielding drug dealers into oblivion. It is such movie scenes that promote the idea that street battles with drug dealers are a good thing. They even make the drug scene look glamorous instead of the dirty, degrading business that it really is.

Leaving all that aside, we must return to the original issue. A civilian light aircraft going about its lawful business was shot down by a military aircraft on anti-drug patrol. A mother and her baby were killed. Surely there are other ways of dealing with the problem? Indeed, would it not be better if the electronic-eye aircraft trailed the target to its destination? Then the recipients of the load could also be apprehended if they turned out drug dealers. Of course, they may turn out to be Jet Blast's own OCB and some of his friends.

If a militaristic regime wishes to run its affairs in this way there is no need for a civilised nation to dirty their hands and become part of it. Too many civil aircraft have been shot down already and too many women, children and yes, even innocent men have been killed. Let the US disengage from such activities and behave like the world leader that it undoubtedly is.

Through difficulties to the cinema

JP Justice
25th Apr 2001, 12:56
I wonder how upmarket Coke users would feel if they thought about the strong possibility that the powder they are putting up their nose has spent 48 hours or more passing through the digestive system of a Third World courier? I hope that they are sure it has been properly rinsed on retrieval.

I am reliably informed that swallower type importations are up fourfold over a year ago.

25th Apr 2001, 16:54

While hostility isn't a factor, there should be some rememberence of the GI heroin evacuees of Viet Nam which no one ever heard about, beyond reliable rumour.

There were thousands.

Strange that Larry Flynt was shot after publishing a series of articles pinning the source on the Christians In Action (not the Church type).

It should also be remembered that the Afghanis did far more damage to the Russian Army with drugs than they could ever dream of doing with bullets.

Throw an economic Blockade around Colombia; despite the U.S. street (and office) demand, that would do far more to get the mess cleaned up.


It's about money; forget it.

It would be interesting to pressure some Senators to ask why the CIA is operating Air Force aircraft in the drug world, but not the military threat world.

Since when does the CIA play Forward Air Controller to another country's air force - for any reason?

In the U.S. the economy demands both parents working with the kids in day-care. The U.S. used to shred the communists for that. The difference - cash flow.

Now, with their autonomy, the kids are into drugs and the crime necessary to support the demand. More cash flow.

When the drugs became known among U.S. air traffic controllers (Jim Bergquist, et al), the drug testing nearly stopped. Cash flow continued.

Except for the cash flow, drugs would be one major crime in the U.S.

Whether a baloon bursts in the stomach of a 'mule' passenger or an innocent aircraft is shot down, drugs are no small problem in the aviation world.

25th Apr 2001, 18:15
JP Justice - I wonder how they'd feel if they knew half the time it had been cut two parts coke to one part Mannite, an Italian baby laxative.

I wonder how many coke heads know they've been sniffing that up their nostrils.

25th Apr 2001, 19:19

I am not in a position to be able to say if decriminalization or legalization of Drugs is the Key. All I can say on that is, maybe it should be researched and discussed by a representative panel.

I will however say that people are in business to make money. Once they can’t make money they can’t afford to do business. Take away demand or wipeout the profit and they will have no reason to produce the stuff.

Look. A mother and her child were killed. Shot down in a missionary a/c on floats, by a Peruvian airforce jet, directed by US Citizens, in the employ of the US Government. Note that this is the same country that had been involved with drug smuggling in SE Asia.

This situation Stinks.


pax domina
25th Apr 2001, 19:26
Rastaman - A post bringing to everyone's attention something that had been left out of this discussion merits a thumbs down from you? I did not mean to insult you, only to suggest an addition to the education you advocate. For that I am deserving of your (and presumably everyone else's) scorn? http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/confused.gif

Your comment that the current situation stinks is something I heartily agree with - why would you imagine that I would disagree?

Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" was a part of my school curriculum, was it a part of yours?

[This message has been edited by pax domina (edited 25 April 2001).]

25th Apr 2001, 20:27

Sorry thumbs down was to do with thoughts on the situation, nothing to do with you. I can hardly call your comments insulting, and you do raise a point that had been left out. Although I will say that I am sorry for those caught in the crossfire, those that are involved in drugs trafficking and trading have made their choice. I do not feel anything for someone who brings misery and death to someonelse's life for any reason, let alone money.

I think there is allot more that goes on behind closed doors in offices on both sides of the Atlantic that we don't know about and wouldn't agree with if we did. The hypocrisy of our elected representatives really gets to me.


[This message has been edited by Rastaman (edited 25 April 2001).]

25th Apr 2001, 21:07
I can't be sure, we might have discussed it on here before, but I feel there is an argument to decriminalize controlled drugs as touched upon by Rastaman.

Take away the hugh profits, the glamour, et cetera, what are you left with? Everyone has their poision/addiction; be it alcohol, tobacco, driving fast cars, shagging long legged women, wasting time on the internet, flying aircraft, or what have you. If drugs were available legitmately (here in the UK the NHS buy uncut, i.e. approximately 96% pure, coke at about 4 a gramme) what could the drug barons do? In fact, this was an argument but forward by a now retired contoversial member of the judiciary here in the UK, Judge Pickles. I can't think of one senior police officer in the UK prepared to stand up against the establishment, certainly no one in the Metropolitan Police, but ask such persons privately, and I'm sure they'd welcome the controlled legalization of such contraband.

Clearly the Home Office of the last British Government didn't see drugs as a problem, they disbanded New Scotland Yards Central Drug Squad (of which I was a member) despite evidence to suggest that 90% of drugs within the UK at some stage pass through the Metroplitan area.

Legalize and I suspect demand and certainly crime, will fall. Furthermore, it will allow police forces worldwide to get on with dealing with other aspects of crime.

before landing check list
25th Apr 2001, 21:22
No, I am not saying that all military or police actions should be plannned to accept collateral damage now should we overlook the fact that collateral damage was done. Yes I know the fact is a wrong aircraft was shot down, not a wrongfull interception mind you. Somebody prior said "apparently a flight plan was filed" well maybe not. Of course not flying a flight plan should not ne a capitol offense either but down there it does make a aircraft highly suspect since drug smugglars seldome file flight plans. As I mentioned earlier of the intercept procedures that were in effect 2 years ago, do we know if the military and "other" aircraft carried these out per operating procedure and do we know if the suspect aircraft ingnored the warnings? Know we don't. If the suspect aircraft did not file a correct flight plan(which you do need to stay legal there)or did blatently ignore the intercepting aircraft then the pilot of the C185 is the one at fault. I am not saying I agree with the system there. I still think the drug problem starts here and could stop here.(at home) BUT it is what we do now, these these drug interdiction flights. Yes there is lots of interdiction flights within our borders. So until we know ALL of the facts we need to stop pointing fingers like some of us are doing here until we do. And I do like the movies also. "Traffic" was very accurate except nobody tastes the stuff to test quality. Well I supose some did but they are no longer with us.
I never once said we should get the b*stards whatever means possible either
Yes, thank goodness I am a ex cop and also ex military, the only thing you said that I agree with. Thank goodness I am not some flaming liberal who will roll over and let these low-lifes live just because they are "over there". It is people like that who stand between you at your dinner parties pretending you know things you know not a thing about and the horrible truth called reality. I get this feeling you do not like law enforcement, or the military well too bad and it must suck to be you. And not all life is like a cinema, nobody I know flys around with a cigar stuck between thier(his or her) teeth. AND NOBODY USED A MACHINE GUN. Another example of your poorly done research. You are probably the ones who show a handgun in the back ground when a reporter is talking about a hit and run driver in Michigan. (sorry Michigan, I will use another city next time)
Yes the fact is a civilian aircraft was shot down and 2 innocent people were killed. I am all for a complete investigation and a re thinking of the drug program. But you need to keep the mudslinging to yourself or at least don't use made up "facts".

And DD, drug dealers are subhuman peices of sh!t.
Interesting observation Duncanmac, Confectioners sugar is also used to cut the dope I think.

The facts first ladies and gentlemen.

[This message has been edited by before landing check list (edited 25 April 2001).]

25th Apr 2001, 22:40
before landing check list - confectioners sugar sure is used to cut coke, as are many, many other things. I just happened to mention Mannite as it is a particulary effective adulterating agent with which to cut cocaine. Not only does it have the flaky appearance and aniseptic taste of cocaine but as near as dammit dissolves at within a few degrees of coke's melting point - 112 degrees Fahrenheit. What's more, it is invisible the instant it is dropped into water. Given that the most common test taken investigates those very two properties, Mannite proves to be, in my opinion, the best agent with which to cut the gear. It is quite simply undetectable.

S**t, some people would pay for this information. I must get it into a script.

26th Apr 2001, 02:25

On the surface, legalizing drugs strikes most as a solution. As an airline captain, why would I be prohibited from 'using' on my day off??

That's discrimination! (I hope so.)

Imagine your doctor, a politician or your wife as a 'user.'

It's just not that simple. It is profitable.

Okay, drugs are now legal, "Hello Holland, where do you go to get the inventory?"

Don't ask; don't tell - that was Clinton's way.

Trust your feelings; there's something wrong in that 'legalization' picture.

Now, the law gets changed.

"Excuse me, Dr. Smith, it seems that on your background and security check, you appear to be a previous registered heroin user. Perhaps the street sanitation department is looking for someone."

26th Apr 2001, 02:37
It needn't be profitable, except for Governments, if legalized. Think about it.

26th Apr 2001, 07:05

I am ex-military, 14 years boy and man. I've been on anti-insurgency patrols up to my neck in leeches and Tiger cans with the best of them. (My signature has nothing to do with the movies. It advertises a particular military background to those on PPRuNe who share it)

So far the Royal Air Force has managed not to shoot down any civilian light aircraft flying in British airspace. (They've collided with a few mind, but not deliberately)

The British Army, Royal Air Force and Police Force use aircraft for law enforcement but have so far restricted their use to aiding ground based operations. Outside the province of Northern Ireland our police rarely carry guns. Those few who do carry guns have managed to shoot a number of innocent people, which must thus count as a good reason for restrictions on the use of lethal force.

Now I'm no liberal wimp, but all in all I really hope that things stay that way. And I don't believe that there is any reason why the rest of the world cannot be as peaceful as most of the UK usually is.

To get back on thread, once a military aircraft has acquired a civilian aircraft as a target, that target cannot escape. It has to land somewhere sometime and that is when the occupants maybe dealt with.

I reiterate - there is no excuse whatsoever for a military aircraft to shoot down a civilian aircraft. None. Ever.

Through difficulties to the cinema

before landing check list
27th Apr 2001, 00:20
Don't think those inocent people died because your law enforement was armed I know you heard that before but guns did not kill them. Good training is the best insurance, not removing the tools.

I never said I agreed with the shoot down policy but I think it was imposed as a detterent. I don't know the stategic value or the success it had(has) but that is all I can say here. j

Here's to cheating, stealing, fighting, and drinking.
If you cheat, may you cheat death.
If you steal, may you steal a woman's heart.
If you fight, may you fight for a brother.
And if you drink, may you drink with me.

27th Apr 2001, 05:10
This thread has moved into the abstract area of "should drugs be legalised or not etc".

That's alright I suppose but I'm still choked up about what actually happened: a civilian aircraft being shot down by a military one in times of peace; two people killed, one wounded and three scarred for the rest of their lives. A very lucky - or skilful - landing on water, with the aircraft overturning and all the survivors clinging to the floats until rescued by a dugout.

In my mind there's no shadow of a doubt the flight plan was filed; tower staff at Iquitos confirmed this to a Peruvian newspaper early on. Nor is there any doubt as to the situational awareness of the Cessna pilot, Kevin Donaldson - mission pilots are very aware there are "eyes in the sky" and light fighters about looking for suspect aircraft.

What astounds me, what I gag at understanding, is aa) how a someone like that A-37 pilot can get through an airforce selection system without being weeded out as a hothead and bb) how a US aircraft crew can be allowed into the air without an elementary knowlege of colloquial Spanish in which to communicate with the pilots they are tasked to direct to potential targets.

Easy to say, "two sloppy systems". I guess so. I lived in Peru (including Iquitos) and amongst the friends I most respected were FAP people. Others were missionaries, some of them pilots.

If there was any common bond between the pilots on either side, it was ethical, a respect for the elements, the jungle, the machinery, and for each other. That is, I think, what most drew us together and that, I suppose, is what makes this business so galling.

A few posters have suggested the A-37 pilot will go unpunished. I doubt that very much. I'm reasonably sure the guy will be branded for the rest of his life. And it could well be the trigger for a soul-searching review of screening procedures in the Peruvian Air Force.

As for CIA or whatever the Citation was and whoever employed it, for God's sake wouldn't it be worthwhile employing people who could communicate? Just imagine the rest-of-their-lives misery of the guys in the Citation, at their own tongue-tied inability to say "hold on a minute".

And Blacksheep, you're spot on with SNAFU.


Thomas Doubting
27th Apr 2001, 13:41
The photo on CNN shows a remarkably intact and un-bent C185 floatplane being lifted out of the river. It looks like it sank after a landing. It was said there were 12 bullet holes in the floats.


I don't think the Peruvian pilot can be accused being some 'hot shot' who 'blasted it out of the sky". More like forced it down.

27th Apr 2001, 17:22

The USA news accounts seem to do a credible job of portraying the Peruvian control officer as being hell-bent to shoot down the plane, despite all facts and objections.

Anything is possible, but it strikes me that there could have been a plan afoot to sabotage the interdiction flights. That's not beyond the realm of possibility in the particular region.

IMHO, the test is in the Peruvian government's reaction. If they protect the officer and pilot, I'd say that is the most likely case.

The U.S. borders need the attention. Why worry about incoming ICBMs when a drug flight can be turned into a cruise missile.

With a Chinese company operating the Panama Canal, I'd be curious as to how possible that might be.

Thomas Doubting
27th Apr 2001, 19:17

What Chinese company is that? I know Hutchison Whampoa operate container berths at either end of the Panama canal, Balboa and Cristobal, but they don't have exclusive rights in either place and are not the only berth operators.

ickle black box
27th Apr 2001, 20:08
Thomas Doubting,

"I don't think the Peruvian pilot can be accused being some 'hot shot' who 'blasted it out of the sky'. More like forced it down"

I don't see how you can say this. Wether or hot he was a hotshot, he shot the plane down, he did not force it. He fired at it, while it was flying, he killed 2 people, injured the pilot and caused it to come down. If the bullets had struck the aircraft slighty higher, and hit the pilots chest, the pilot would have been killed and the plane would have crashed. The fact the injured pilot was able to put it down in one piece, does not remove the fact it was shot down. They lost the chance to use the words 'forced down' when 2 people were killed. It was pure chance that it was able to roughly land in one piece.


28th Apr 2001, 01:46


Lima and Washington, key allies in the drugs war, began patrolling the skies a decade ago under the regime of disgraced ex-President Alberto Fujimori and his spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos -- a man alleged to have been a one-time CIA contact and to have taken cash from drug lords to turn a blind eye to their clandestine jungle airstrips. (Additional reporting by Marco Aquino, Jonathan Wright in Washington)

Thomas Doubting
28th Apr 2001, 06:16
ickle black box
The point of my post was that after reading the press reports of the aircraft being sensationally blasted out of the sky or 'shot down' plus the above contributions, I was very surprised to see that the aircraft was intact with no obvious structural deformation that could be seen in the CNN photograph. The flaps were set, the floats still attached and the prop blades and wings show no sign of uncontrolled contact with the surface of the earth. In other words, the aircraft landed on the river then sank.

Correct me if I am wrong, but 'shot down' would imply that the aircraft departed from controlled flight before reaching the ground. That clearly wasn't the case here. The pilot, Kevin Donaldson, was said to be wounded in both legs and he obviously did a great job in putting it down in one piece. To say that the aircraft was shot down does not give him credit for getting the survivors and the aircraft safely back to earth

I am not trying to trivialise the loss of two lives, but I don't think it should be sensationalised either.

28th Apr 2001, 17:04
TD -

I don't know the name of the company operating the canal. There was a brief mention of it when Clinton's guy went down for the festivities. Clinton, naturally, played it down. It's tough to get info from that part of the world.

There were massive layoffs as a result, with a huge lawsuit for unannounced terminations, claiming severance pay. I think that's just now getting into the courts.

28th Apr 2001, 17:24

The Panama Canal per se is now under the control of the Panamanian government, to whom it passed on (I believe) 2 January 2000.

The Hong Kong based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa won concessions to operate container terminals at Cristobal and Balboa, at either end of the canal. Hutchison are the largest of the global container terminal operators; the Western Hemisphere operations are all run by Brits from Felixstowe in the UK. At the Atlantic end of the Canal two other companies, Seattle-based Stevedoring Services of America and Taiwan-based Evergreen, also operate container terminals, so Hutchison are not in a monopoly situation. The Panama Canal Railway concession was granted to a consortium of American companies, Kansas City Southern and Mi-Jack, I believe.

As for rockets being launched from Panama, well, I do think that's a bit far-fetched.

28th Apr 2001, 17:49

Still a bit strange, but thanks for the info.

It appears that Panama has a similar situation with Vancouver B.C. in the form of illegal immigrants.

Seattle is bracing for an underground railway from Vancouver, funneling illegals into the country.

This is badly off-topic, however.

Thomas Doubting
28th Apr 2001, 18:52
Thanks for the additional info. In fact Hutch has a large contingent of ex-pat managers, particularly in operations overseas from HK.

There was a lot of media/political hyp in the US when they set up the Panama operations. Unfortunately the media hyp overshadows the truth, as it seems to be doing in this thread.

Cyclic Hotline
28th Apr 2001, 19:37
Civilian Pilots Shun Skies of Peru's Amazon amid Drug War

LIMA, Peru (AP) -- Erik Avila was flying his single-engine Cessna with five passengers over the Amazon jungle when a Peruvian air force jet swooped alongside and hailed him by radio, demanding he identify himself.

When his microphone failed, he made frantic hand signals to the fighter pilot and held up the broken handset to show he could not answer. He feared that under a U.S.-Peruvian program to force down suspected drug flights, his air-taxi could be shot from the sky.

"It has become a no man's land, where only the armed forces knows what is going on," said Avila, a private Peruvian jungle pilot with 14 years experience who flies out of the Amazon capital of Iquitos, 625 miles northeast of Lima.

After the deadly downing of a U.S. missionary plane by a Peruvian air force jet whose crew thought it was carrying drugs, civilian pilots in Peru's drug-producing Amazon region want more controls on fighter pilots they say operate with impunity.

Missionary Veronica Bowers and her 7-month-old daughter were killed in the April 20 attack. Her husband and their 6-year-old son, Cory, survived, as did pilot Kevin Donaldson, who underwent surgery on both legs.

U.S. officials say an American surveillance crew urged the military craft not to open fire because of evidence suggesting it was not smuggling drugs, but it shot the small plane down anyway.

Avila was luckier. After his frantic signaling, the fighter waggled its wings in a signal to follow and led his Cessna to a nearby military base.

His plane was allowed to leave after its flight plan and cargo were checked, but the harrowing experience stuck with him. Avila was intercepted twice in the past five years. It hasn't happened to him recently, but he said interceptions continue despite a sharp drop in drug flights.

Until last year, much of the Amazon region was under martial law to help the military fight leftist guerrillas and drug traffickers. "Civilians had no rights," Avila said.

Pilots say that while martial law has been lifted, many of the same attitudes remain.

An American pilot, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he has been intercepted three times in the past five years. The pilot, who said he feared losing his charter business in Peru if he were named, said he now flies with a ham radio. If tracked by military flights, he can contact co-workers at his base who can alert air traffic controllers.

The pilots say that there are now just four small charter planes offering flights out of Iquitos, compared with at least 70 in 1995. They typically fly a handful of locals or hardy tourists to remote locations. Peru's national airlines fly only to large Amazon cities like Iquitos and are not bothered by drug-interception flights.

Avila attributed the sharp drop in charter flights to fear, a decline in the economy and the seizure of suspected drug planes.

But Peruvian officials defend the program, which they say has helped reduce production of coca -- the main ingredient in cocaine _ in Peru by almost three quarters since 1992.

Mario Justo, director of Iquitos' airport, says the rights of small planes had been respected until the latest shoot-down

"Civil aviation never had a problem. The high percentage of flights detected were illegal. It was a very successful system. There probably was a problem with the system this time, but this is being investigated," Justo said.

The joint U.S.-Peruvian program was launched in 1992 when Peru was still the world's largest coca grower. Much of the coca that was flown in small planes over the jungle to Colombia in what was known as the drug "air bridge" ended up in the United States.

Under the program, U.S. AWAC surveillance planes fly over drug-producing regions. When a radar plane locates a suspicious flight, it radios for a Citation -- a smaller U.S. plane that can fly low -- which then observes the target visually.

A bilingual Peruvian representative on board communicates the radar and visual data collected to Peru's air force. The Peruvian pilot then verifies the suspect plane's registration, uses hand signals or radio messages to make contact, and can rock the jet's wings as a sign for the suspect plane to land. He may fire warning shots if needed, according to the pact.

If there is still no response, it can shoot or force the suspect flight down. U.S. planes are barred from taking direct action against the suspicious flights.

Since 1995, Peruvian jets have forced down or shot down 30 planes, and until now all were drug smugglers, U.S. and Peruvian officials say. There had been no reports of mistakes in Peru's media before last week, but the area is remote and largely controlled by Peru's military, making verification difficult.

Colombia is the only other country with a program in which U.S. authorities pass information on to a local air force with a shoot-down policy. Colombian authorities say they have had no deadly errors.

The United States suspended both programs pending an investigation into the downing of the missionaries' plane.

Survivors say the Peruvian jet riddled the pontoon plane with bullets without warning, a charge disputed by Peruvian officials.

"Sounds like a bunch of hot shot pilots," Jim Bowers' brother Phil, a trained pilot, said last week. "Why didn't they call and check the registration?"

28th Apr 2001, 23:35

Early reports cited the possibility that the aircraft was strafed after it hit the river. It sounds pretty far-fetched, but I'm curious if anybody heard anything to support that claim.

29th Apr 2001, 06:34

Don't know where the early reports of strafing after the aircraft was downed came from but they haven't been repeated and I would guess they were the result of nothing more than enthusiastic reporting.

Peruvian press agency reports say the new head of the airforce - all the military heads were reshuffled week before last, nothing to do with the missionary aircraft - has pretty much accepted that this was a colossal f**k-up. His dilemma now is how to apply justice without appearing to be kowtowing to US pressure.

Agree, Panama seriously off-topic!


29th Apr 2001, 17:06

In the Peruvian's place, I think I'd just say, "The multi-billion dollar market for the drugs is the USA; your people called the target - deal with it!"

Maybe then, the U.S. arrogance would get taken down.

dallas dude
4th May 2001, 17:59

Sorry this is a week late, I've been incommunicado.

I originally believed the pilots of the Citation were some DEA folks I knew.

You, however, are entirely correct that the operators were under contract to someone else. BLCL 1, DD nil.

Then you go off on a tangent about drug policy, the benefits of interdiction, people not understanding law enforcements' contributions and suggest anyone who doesn't share your position to be an idiot etc. etc.

I fail to see how you can make these assumptions based on what little info I posted.

You also lay out supposed policy (drug dealers can search the internet too) without thinking about how this may affect the good guys' operation. I grant you though, this policy will probably be modified, if it's reinstated.

I could care less whether you believe I've been down there or not. (I just wish I had the concession for the cardboard shades the kids use to keep their motor scooters' seats cool when they're parked, during the day, in the town square).

Lastly, "bits and pieces" was a subtle reference to equipment not usually found on the nose, and in the belly, of a Citation.
(See above note about telling the world what you're NOT supposed to, for obvious reasons).

Just for the record, "tagged" refers to following an un-identifiable aeroplane to its destination, NOT shooting at it!


3rd Jun 2001, 02:53
Somewhat belated but I came across this in a Peruvian newspaper.


[This message has been edited by broadreach (edited 02 June 2001).]

[This message has been edited by broadreach (edited 02 June 2001).]

PPRuNe Towers
3rd Jun 2001, 03:15

The img commands are fine but between them there needs to be a full address of where the jpg image is on a live web server somewhere rather than on yours or anyone elses standalone computer.

The address provides stepped items of location information in a logical order leading our browsers to the exact file you want us to see. As you probably already know there's information on how to do it in our FAQ's.

Regards from the Towers
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